Throughout the week, the Coronavirus has escalated to an unprecedented epidemic. We are seeing businesses shut down, events get cancelled, and worldwide, businesses are reckoning with the implications of sending employees home. While certain jobs can be done remotely without a worry, the federal government sector faces a unique problem; how will their absence strain the computer networks?
According to an article from the Washington Post, federal agents are attempting to get ahead of the potential cyber vulnerabilities associated with working from home, as well as stress testing the general limits of remote work. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is preemptively working from home as a trail to determine if the the agency can effectively carry out their jobs in a secure manner in case remote work eventually become necessary during the Corona outbreak.
If remote work becomes inevitable, this will be the largest amount of at home workers in government history.
In an unfortunate feedback loop scenario, the lack of personnel in-office could lead to concentrated cyberattacks while we are vulnerable. These attacks, in turn, could take the form of social engineering hoaxes meant to sow discord among us during the outbreak. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a announcement to be vigilant for cyber-criminals posing as WHO to spread disinformation. False alerts regarding the Corona virus may be sent to workers or the general public to cause widespread panic.
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